Update, September 30, 2020 (9 am CT): The Head of Studio at CD Projekt RED, Adam Badowski, responded to the report with a statement on Twitter.
What you need to know
- Cyberpunk 2077 is the next game from CD Projekt RED, the developers of the acclaimed Witcher 3 game.
- The game has been delayed multiple times, presumably to meet quality expectations and avoid extreme crunch time.
- Crunching is very common in the gaming industry, with developers working dozens of extra hours to meet deadlines.
- Despite earlier promises from higher-ups, CD Projekt RED is now calling for mandatory crunch on Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a game with incredibly high anticipation and expectations, and has already been delayed multiple times, with a new launch date of November 19, 2020. These delays were presumably to avoid extreme levels of crunch, or when developers work insane amounts of overtime and extra days in order to meet deadlines, and still meet a desired level of quality.
Many developers on Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2020, have been working overtime hours for months if not years now. But this call for six-day work weeks, "mandatory" crunch, directly reneges on what CDPR's bosses told me last year.Many developers on Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2020, have been working overtime hours for months if not years now. But this call for six-day work weeks, "mandatory" crunch, directly reneges on what CDPR's bosses told me last year.— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 29, 2020September 29, 2020
However, a new report from Bloomberg reveals that CD Projekt RED has reportedly called for mandatory crunch and overtime ahead of the Cyberpunk 2077's launch. This move would make six-day work weeks mandatory for all developers, which is already upsetting enough when crunch time is considered to be an unfortunate standard in the gaming world. However, this also goes against the promises of CD Projekt RED's earlier promises in interviews, where they expressed a desire to avoid this kind of crunch on Cyberpunk 2077.
Despite multiple delays, and the fact that many team members working on Cyberpunk 2077 have already been working consistent overtime for weeks, months, and even years, CD Projekt RED is still implementing mandatory six-day work weeks, according to the report. While understandable that the game studio would wish to avoid the backlash from fans for any more delays for their most anticipated game since the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, these kind of practices are unhealthy, both physically and mentally, for all the developers involved.
How do you feel about the recent news coming out of CD Projekt RED? Would you rather another game delay if it meant less strenuous work conditions? Let us know in the comments below.
Update, September 30, 2020 (9 am CT)—Adam Badowski, Head of Studio at CD Projekt RED, issues a statement
In response to the report coming out of Bloomberg, Adam Badowski, the Head of Studio at CD Projekt RED, has issued a statement on the matter. According to the statement, the "majority of the team understands" the mandatory crunch, and that everyone is duly compensated for the extra time they put in. CD Projekt RED has also committed to evenly distributing 10% of the company's annual profits to employees. While it's great that employees will be compensated, as they should be, this move has still been a controversial one from CD Projekt RED.
A dark and gritty world
The standard for next-gen.
Cyberpunk 2077 is the latest project from CD Projekt Red, the developers behind the Witcher 3. To follow up the game that defined a generation of gaming, Cyberpunk 2077 needed to be huge, ambitious, and captivating. Every indication says that CD Projekt Red is posed to repeat history with their sci-fi, open-world RPG adventure.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.